Health Highlights: Oct. 26, 2016

Related Health News

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Brazil, Colombia Release Modified Mosquitoes to Fight Zika

Millions of modified mosquitoes will be released in Brazil and Colombia in an effort to combat mosquito-borne viruses such as Zika and chikungunya.

The mosquitoes are infected with Wolbachia bacteria, which reduces their ability to spread viruses to people, BBC News reported.

The $18 million program is scheduled to start in early 2017 and is financed by an international team of donors along with local governments.

Wolbachia is naturally occurring and infects 60 percent of insect species worldwide, but poses no threat to humans, according to scientists.

Wolbachia does not usually infect the Aedes aegypti mosquito -- the species mostly responsible for spreading Zika, dengue fever, cikungunya and other diseases to humans -- but scientists have found a way to inject the bacteria into these mosquitoes, BBC News reported.

Small-scale tests in a number of countries have found that releasing Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes reduces the spread of dengue to people.


Study Shows How Small Lies Can Lead to Bigger Ones

Small lies can lead to bigger ones as the brain adapts to being dishonest, researchers say.

They used MRI scans to monitor brain activity in volunteers who were told to lie. The findings in the journal Nature Neuroscience show how people can find themselves on a slippery slope of lying, The New York Times reported.

"They usually tell a story where they started small and got larger and larger, and then they suddenly found themselves committing quite severe acts," explained study senior author Tali Sharot, associate professor of cognitive neuroscience, University College London, U.K.

It appears that negative emotional signals initially triggered by telling fibs decrease as the brain becomes desensitized to lying.

"Think about it like perfume," Sharot told The Times. "You buy a new perfume, and it smells strongly. A few days later, it smells less. And a month later, you don't smell it at all."

This is a story from HealthDay, a service of ScoutNews, LLC.